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Talk like a man

A recent tweet (unfortunately, I can’t remember whose) alerted me to the existence of an interesting site. It’s called the Gender Genie. What it does is take a snippet of text, analyze it, and guess whether it was written by a man or woman.

My immediate thought was to use it to see if my hero and heroine’s passages read like a man and a woman respectively. For the few I tried, they both came back as written by a woman, but I was gratified that my hero’s scenes did score higher on the male scale.

Intrigued by a button for analyzing blog entries I tried again. This time, without fail, every one of my last five blog entries (not including the Squirrels) returned as MALE. So apparently, I write fiction like a woman (maybe because it’s romance?), but the real me is more masculine in tone and word choice. I’ll try not to be offended. 😉

No actually, I’m not really surprised. I lost my girl-card years ago when I finally admitted I hate shopping, high heels, and dresses. I know. I have also spent most of my life working in male-dominated professions and environments. Programmer, manufacturing engineer. Football office, health club, sporting goods store.

Regardless of what it says about me, I think the Gender Genie has the potential to be a fun and instructive tool for analyzing your own writing. Give it a try. Be sure to check out the analysis chart below for clues on male/female identifiers. You might be surprised by the simple word choices that make a difference. And if you’re suffering from insomnia, click the link for the original research paper that spawned the whole thing.

If you try the Genie, let me know. I’d love to hear your results.

Even this entry, though admittedly a bit short, came up male…

 

0 Comments

  1. Reply

    I have two blogs, and I sorta assumed one would be female and one would be male. But I was completely wrong about which would be which.

    Also, for the algorhithm, it was interesting the words that were “male” and the ones that were “female”.

    “above” and “through” were male. “me” and “myself” were were female… interesting.

    Great post, Gwen.

    • Reply

      Thanks, Camryn. It’s funny that your two blogs were the opposite of what you thought.

      I found the list of which words were female/male very interesting too. I actually slogged through some of the research paper, and it had to do with how women draw the reader into the passage, and how men and women relate to objects differently. Intriguing, but I’d prefer the Executive’s book club version. 😉

  2. Curtis

    Reply

    I tried to try it. They said they had encountered a problem. I wonder if it was a yin/yang issue?

  3. Christine

    Reply

    I blogged about “man speak” on Saturday to post in today’s Romance Magician’s blog–we must be channeling the same muse this week! I figure I am definitely a girl speak person. Wonder if my men in my books will pass muster?

    Must check it out!

    • Reply

      I had the same thought when I read your RM post. Is it too cliche to say “great minds”…?

      I actually tested a couple of your blog entries for comparison. They all came back decidedly female. 😉

  4. Reply

    I hate shoes, shopping and dresses too. Especially anything uncomfortable, why do women wear footwear that causes pain? The mind boggles. Gender genie is neat, thx for pointing it out! I just shared the link with some friends.

    • Reply

      Hey, Holly. I think I’ve cultivated friendships with people like me. 😉 I still covet things, but if they could just magically appear, fit well, feel good, and not deplete my bank account, that’d be great.

      And I think heels were invented by a misogynist. =) Thanks for sharing and dropping by!

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